Contaminants found in multiple test sites on Wolverine property by BETH ALTENA About a hundred residents, including city officials and Wolverine Worldwide representatives, attended a public meeting held jointly by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Tuesday, April 24 at the Rockford Freshman Center. A presentation by a team of four representatives of the environmental agencies detailed the background of their investigation, where the testing stands to date, what possible future outcomes of the process may be, and answered questions well after the 9 p.m. expected close of the meeting. Comments from the public regarding the situation were about evenly mixed among those supporting Wolverine in their actions in removing the former tannery and those who appeared skeptical of the company’s actions or worried about contamination. Dave Novak, community involvement coordinator of the Superfund Division of the EPA, began the evening’s presentation, introducing the other representatives. “We are looking for conclusions based on good science, not speculation,” he stated. “We have a great deal of information in a relatively short period of time. We are letting good science lead us on our journey.” He then gave the floor to Naria Nunez of the EPA. Nunez said the EPA was contacted by a citizens’ petition June 21, 2011 describing concerns over releases during the demolition of the former tannery at 123 N. Main Street, Rockford. She said the petition indicated the demolition was of community concern and included photographs of discolored water running off the property and questions about the past use of chromium at the property. The EPA decided to investigate the site, and began testing in October of last year. Nunez said preliminary testing results found some contamination with potential of offsite contact. The investigation is still underway and is in the preliminary stages. At any time the EPA could decide no further response is necessary; could call for removal of contaminates or could refer the investigation to another government program. The EPA could also continue to investigate and at the end of the process could rank the site based on a system called a Hazardous Ranking System. This is an evaluation of the property based on evaluations of groundwater, surface water, air, ground, or […]
Those pesky “Bucky Beavers” have been busy this past winter and spring above the dam and along both sides of the Rogue River. No tree, regardless of size, appears to be safe from “Bucky”! This huge tree, some 4 ft. in diameter (species undetermined) stands between the Rogue River Nature Trail boardwalk and the river about 70 ft. north of the Gazebo on the west side of the dam. The City has placed chicken wire screening around the tree over the gnawed area and this fix seems to be working. It’s a good thing because, if felled, this monster tree could make a splash that might create a Tsunami and knock the Rockford Historical Society Museum right off its foundation! The Squire would love to know what variety of tree this is and perhaps the “tree huggers” of Rockford might want to take a stroll over to Bucky’s work site and let the paper know.
Contests, costumes, food, free stuff at dog walk by BETH ALTENA “It’s already a success. I just hope the dogs show up,” said organizer Tom VanderSloot, who is hoping for a big bow wow turnout this Saturday, Oct. 29 to the first Happy Hounds Dog Walk at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street in downtown Rockford. The event will take place starting at 9 a.m. for on-site registration, the dog walk starts at 10 a.m., and booths and demonstrations will take place until 1 p.m. Given the day, dogs and owners are welcome to dress up and perhaps be chosen as winners in a costume contest. Proceeds of the walk are going to a proposed dog park planned across the Rogue River from Richardson-Sowerby Park south of Ten Mile Road. Visitors don’t even have to have a dog to participate, eat and be entertained and educated. In addition to a Happy Hounds stroll through downtown Rockford, the dog festival will include pet-related vendors with information, demonstrations, giveaways and contests. Florentine Pizzeria Ristorante will offer pasta and breadsticks and is donating proceeds to the Happy Hounds nonprofit group. There will be refreshments for a nominal fee, but the stars of the day will be the dogs. West Michigan Therapy Dogs will have a tent and some lovely therapy dogs as they raise awareness to the good work they do with those who need a boost from a furry friend. Right next to them will be Paws With a Cause demonstrating what service dogs do to help those with physical challenges. The Humane Society opted out of bringing real dogs up for adoption to the event, but will have photos and video of animals waiting for a home. An organization called Fur to Feathers will have on-site canines that need a human to adopt them. The National Animal Assist Crisis Response will explain the program it offers, training therapy dogs and their owners to respond to devastating disasters—9/11, the hurricane Katrina, and other catastrophes—with assistance at the sites of disasters. Pawsitive Impact for Pets is a local nonprofit with the task of helping pet owners keep their pets when they are struggling with financial challenges, either through losing a job or some other circumstance. “We have all […]
Photo by TOM SCOTT What a gorgeous day for an art show on Saturday, September 10 at Garden Club Park by the Rogue River. The attendance was excellent as well as the coffee, juices, morning snacks provided by the Rockford Area Arts Commission and a local baker. Sales were way up this year compared to last year’s cold and very wet day. The music was provided by Kyle Clements and his friends the Kingston Trio playing in the afternoon. Noel Skiba won best in show. All in all, it was a perfect day for an art show in downtown Rockford.